FRINGE REVIEW – A Preoccupation with Romance


CloseKnit Theatre company’s ‘A Preoccupation with Romance’ is both ambitious and original, combining strong classical references with a modern setting to create a timeless story.

Unfortunately it isn’t completely successful. The text-dense script means dialogue is rather packed into the 45 minute time slot. Playwright Bethan Grant obviously has a poetic way with words and more than a passing acquaintance with the classics, but occasionally the speed at which the lines are spoken often leaves one wishing for a copy of the script.

This is billed as physical theatre but the movement sequences can feel weak, with the performances lacking precision and confidence. Full marks to CloseKnit however for their soundtrack, the use of young, unsigned artists is both admirable and effectively used in this production.

The programme introduces the show thus: “This is the smallest story of the greatest love; they have all the hope but none of the courage….CloseKnit show two people who, because of love, can never quite fall in it.” In lay-person’s terms, this means we are in for a considerable amount of navel-gazing. It is a fairly realistic depiction of the agonies of attraction, but your enjoyment of the show is likely to depend on how patient you are listening to other people’s self-indulgent dissection of emotional minutiae.

Credit is due to CloseKnit for a brave piece of theatre. No doubt as they mature they will be one to watch.

5-29 Aug (not 7, 14, 21, 28) 1345 (1430) @ Zoo Southside

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